Symptoms of heart problems checked in the Heart Screen Program may include pain in the middle or right of your chest, radiating up into the neck and into your right arm. An attack usually happens when a clot breaks away from inside a narrowed blood vessel which provides the heart muscle with blood. This leads to a blockage in the blood supply to the heart muscle.

The muscle becomes damaged, causing pain. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke and eat plenty of fruit, veg and whole-grains. Be aware of your family history of heart disease and go for your annual check (high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes) – all of which, if left untreated, can lead to heart attack. Your heart needs a constant supply of blood to keep it healthy, so the sooner you get help, the lower your risk of sustaining serious damage.


A dull ache or tightness. It’s usually felt during physical activity and goes away when you stop, or when you take angina relieving medicine. A narrowing to the small blood vessels (coronary arteries) supplying the heart muscle with blood. The narrowed arteries mean the heart isn’t getting sufficient oxygen for its needs during increased activity or stress.

Live a healthy lifestyle with a diet low in fat. Don’t smoke, drink moderately and do regular exercise, which increases your heart rate. Keep on eye on your blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol risk. Speak to your GP or cardiologist who’ll prescribe treatment, control underlying conditions like high blood pressure and monitor your health via Heart Screen Program.

Muscle strain

Acute pain, particularly with certain movements. The affected area may be tender to touch and accompanied by local swelling and redness. The intercostal muscles between the ribs can tear, especially during fast, twisting movements in sports like swimming or tennis.

Even a small tear results in swelling and inflammation, which can cause a sharp chest pain (and is worse when you breathe in). Warm up before exercise and stretch properly after a session.

Do exercises aimed at strengthening your lntercostal muscles. Rest the area and apply ice to reduce the swelling and pain for the first 48 hours. Your doctor may do a chest X-ray to ensure you don’t have a rib fracture and will prescribe anti-inflammation medication to reduce the swelling and tenderness.


Tightness and discomfort in your chest, along with a cough, shortness of breath and high temperature; often following a cold or flu. Infection in the airways or lungs (bronchitis and pneumonia) causes inflammation of the lining of the lungs, this causes sharp chest pain, which is worse when breathing in and coughing.

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